Walmart to Possibly Give Aid to Bangladeshi Garment Factories

As a result of two tragic incidents in Bangladeshi factories the last couple of years—the collapse that killed over 1,000 workers in April 2013 and the fire that killed over 100 in November 2012—Walmart has said they may loan $50 million to Bangladesh, according to Insurance Journal.

The loan, while still not yet a guarantee, could pay out in a few different ways, from a straight loan, to earlier payments for shipments, to paying for orders before products are delivered. With the loan, Walmart hopes to improve worker safety and prevent other deadly accidents.

The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, a North American-based group that formed in July 2013, is at the foot of the loan. The group’s founders/board members include the senior VP for Gap, the VP of global affairs for Target, the senior VP and global chief compliance officer for Walmart and other global leaders from the US and Bangladesh. Gap has promised up to $20 million in loans as well.

The Central Bank of Bangladesh needs to approve the foreign loan, and they are in the process of doing so right now. The $50 million loan is part of a larger loan that members of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker safety pledged when they formed in July.

Walmart currently gets goods from 280 different factories in Bangladesh and plans on investigating the safety practices at them.

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Posted by Jamie Friedlander on Sep 04, 2013